2020-05-10: Mother’s Year

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I. Introduction.

There is something so special about Mothers – and I would include Grandmothers and surrogates.

When the Good Lord was creating mothers – He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “Sir, you’re taking a lot of time on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. Saliva that wash away anything. And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook his head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.” “It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….” “I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed. “But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.” “Can it think?” “Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran his finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak here,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.” “It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.” “What’s it for?” the angel asked. “It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

On a bit lighter note: “What Moms really want for Mother’s Day”:

10. To be able to eat a whole candy bar – alone – and drink a Coke without any “floaters.”

9. To have a 14-year-old answer a question without rolling her eyes in that “Why is this person my mother?”

way.

8. Five pounds of chocolate that won’t add twenty.

7. A shower without a child peeking through the curtain with a “Hi ya, Mom!” just as I put a razor to my ankle.

6. A full-time cleaning person who looks like Brad Pitt.

5. For a teenager to announce, “Hey, Mom! I got a full scholarship and a job all in the same day!”

4. A grocery store that doesn’t have candy, gum, and cheap toys displayed at the checkout line.

3. To have a family meal without a discussion about bodily functions.

2. To be able to step on a plane with toddlers and not have some pencil-neck-yuppie-geek moan, “Oh, no! Why

me?”

1. And the four words they all want to hear: Fisher – Price – Play – Prison!!!

Today is Mother’s Day –  – a day that we celebrate the mothers and grandmothers and those surrogates

who have filled those roles in our lives. It’s the day once a year when families pay special tribute

to their moms in various ways. We take them out to dinner – or buy them special gifts… but the sad thing is that often times Mother’s Day is really just a time when families try to atone for an entire year of neglect and disrespect –  and for a lack of appreciation –  – It shouldn’t be that way – but it is.

II. NT Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:1-7.

One of the things most celebrated on this day is the influence mothers have over our lives. I would like to reflect on a passage today that talks about that very subject: the influence of mothers. The passage is 2 Timothy 1:1-7:

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 ‘To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’”

III. The Post-Christianity Era.

Now most people agree – whether they are Christians or not – that we are living in a post-Christian era.

Now that doesn’t mean that the Church is dead – or that Christianity is dead – what it means is that the influence that Biblical Christianity once had on our nation and our culture has diminished to a point where it wouldn’t be recognized by Christians 100 – 200 years ago. And that includes morality, education, social action, and maybe – and most importantly – parenting.

A. Secular vs. Biblical.

Basically – what’s happened is that secular humanistic reasoning has taken the place of Biblical truth when it comes to setting the parameters for the home and family. By contrast – a Christian should be one who sees the home – marriage – and parenting as framed within the parameters of God’s infallible and authoritative Word from The Bible.

And the truth of God’s Word should not only shape our beliefs and practices in all areas of life – but they are absolutes that guide us through life. And so, our opinions and beliefs are only legitimately Christian – to the degree that they line up with God’s Word. The problem is that today – our minds have been darkened by secularism and sin – and a lot of folks can’t tell if something is Biblical or secular at all.

B. Culture vs. Church.

We expect that from the world – but we’re actually seeing the same thing within the Church as well. The trend that we’re seeing in the Church is that church folks are acknowledging the sufficiency of God and the Bible – but they fail to see a need to subject their personal opinions – reasoning – and emotions to the guidelines of Scripture in all areas of life – including what happens in the home.

We read something like Romans 12:2 which says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” And we think that only applies to our moral behavior – but not to things like marriage – or raising kids – but instead – we leave that to pop psychologists and talk show hosts.

But – ALL of our relationships should be directed by the truth of Scripture – whether its education – finances – political involvement – our jobs – our marriages – or parenting.

IV. OT Scripture: Proverbs 31:10-31.

Having read Proverbs 31:10-31 there are two things about it you should be aware of.

A. Two Points of Knowledge.

Verses 10–31 are an alphabetic acrostic in Hebrew. In-other-words – in the literal Hebrew language – each verse begins with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet, in order. Isn’t God cool?

Secondly – the word or phrase that’s translated as “virtuous” in the NKJV –  or “of noble character” in the NIV – is the Hebrew word “chayil” which literally means “strength and valor, and in all ways excellent.”

Throughout the Bible this word is translated as “Able” or “Capable” 8 times – it’s translated as “strength” 10 times and as “valiant” over 40 times. And basically, it refers to “moral strength, integrity and efficiency”.

B. Five Qualities of “Virtuous”.

As we look through these verses – we get a good understanding of what the writer meant by “virtuous.”

Secondly – I personally see at least 5 qualities there and there might be more – but I see five.

1. If you look at verses 11, 12 and 23, you’ll see that she is trustworthy and devoted –  – She has her husband’s confidence – and she enhances his reputation.

2. She is a woman of diligence and wisdom – We see that in verses 13 – 19. She’s not afraid to work – she’s a wise shopper – and she plans ahead.

3. She is a giving person –  – Verse 20 says that she extends her hand to the poor –  – In other words, she has planned ahead well enough to be able to not only take care of the family’s needs – but also the needs of the poor in her society.

4. We see that in verses 15, 21, 27 She is dependable. When adversity comes – be it bad weather, or something else… you know she’s already got a plan to deal with whatever it might be.

5. And lastly – We see that by reading all the verses of our text – she is a woman who loves the Lord. She is someone who is guided and directed by God’s Word and God’s wisdom.

Now ladies – you might read through that and say to yourselves, “This isn’t describing a womanit’s describing Super Woman!” And that’s actually a pretty good assessment.

It’s describing a woman who is living in a supernatural way with a supernatural God. And it has to be that way because there are few things that are more important to society and the church than godly mothers.

The Bible is clear in its teachings – both explicit and implicit – that the family is the foundation of society.

And while fathers are responsible for the way the family goes – mothers are the glue that holds the family together. And fathers can’t do their job!

V. Problems Mothers Face.

And so – since mom’s are so important to the family and society – I want to quickly look at some of the problems they face – so that the rest of us can really show our appreciation this Mother’s Day and every day of the year.

A. Respect – Femininity, not Feminism.

First of all, guys… we need to look at motherhood and femininity with respect – femininity not feminism. The Bible warns us over and over again about the anti-Christian forces that are constantly at work to get us to adopt the values and attitudes of the world.

But again – Romans 12 tells us that we are not to be conformed to the world’s patter and pleasures. We aren’t supposed to be shoved into the mold that the world has for us.

Let me just be blunt – and tell you what I mean by that… Motherhood is more important than having a career! Not saying women can’t do both… I’m just saying that it’s important that they understand which one is more important! Mother’s lay the personality cornerstone of their children. They spend more time with them in their formative years.

B. Be Cautious Selecting a Mate.

2nd Timothy 3:1 – 5 says:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness by denying its power. From such people turn away!”

Now do you notice what Paul was saying there? He told Timothy that the perilous times will come in the last days because people will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money. Boasting, pride, and blasphemy are all sins of pride that comes from loving oneself. Disobedience to parents and un-thankfulness also come from a sense of over exaggerated self-worth. It goes on… but this is the world we live in.

And so – what do you think this does to the woman – who by the very nature of her creation – is geared to needing love – and affection – and reassurance?

What does it do when the husband loves himself or money more than his wife? You see – Satan’s first attack was against the wife – and it immediately affected the home. He still attacks us today – including moms and wives.

But then you couple that with the fact that people – sometimes husbands – are lovers of themselves – lovers of money – they are proud. Then the kids can sometimes become disobedient people who are unthankful, unloving and these humanistic – unbiblical ideas and beliefs and behavioral patterns affect the family – and the home – and especially the mother – because she is the keeper of the home.

C. A Comment to Husbands and Fathers.

Now those of us who are husbands and fathers…

we need to take note of this –

because even though our wives are to be the keepers of the home…

we’re supposed to be the protectors of the home.

In-other-words, we should not allow these sorts of things

to infiltrate our homes – and our lives –

and the lives of our families –  –

and am also addressing more especially evil things.

We can’t do a whole lot about it out in the world –

but we can make sure that it isn’t infiltrating our homes!

Men are to be the “Spiritual Leaders” of their households.

Listen to what Ephesians 5:23-29 says about the “Instructions for Christian Households”:

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Submitting to another person is an often-misunderstood concept;

it does not mean becoming a doormat

Christ – at whose name “every knee should bow.

In heaven and under the earth” (Phil. 2:10)

submitted his will to the Father – and we honor Christ

by following his example. 

When we submit to God – we become more willing to obey his

command to submit to others – that is,

to subordinate our rights to theirs. 

In a marriage relationship – both husband and wife

are called to submit. 

So that passage clearly says that husbands

are the head of the house – the “Spiritual Leader”

but also it says that we are to love our wives

 just like Jesus loves the Church.

CLearly – as Christ served the disciples –

even to the point of washing their feet –

so the husband is to serve his wife.         

In-other-words – we are to love our wives sacrificially

And let me just tell you – if we fail to love our wives like this –

what we’re doing is disobeying a commandment

given to us from God’s Word –

and we are distorting the picture that marriage

provides of Christ and the Church to the world.

You’ve heard the saying, “As goes the home, so goes the Church,

and as goes the Church, so goes the world…”

Well this passage is where that idea comes from.

Christian marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church

to the unbelieving world.

And secondly; if we fail to love our wives like this –

we sin against our wives and our children –

because our kids pick up on our attitudes and actions.

One thing that gets me more riled up more than just about

anything else is to see a kid disrespect his or her mother –

that causes my blood to boil.

Because a lot of times – they pick that up from their own father.

And I’ll tell you right now –

that was never tolerated in our house.

And it shouldn’t be in any house.

VI. Demands on Mothers.

Ok; let’s turn back to Proverbs 31… As you can see from our text –

the demands on mothers are awesome!

They include the shopping – cooking – washing and ironing –

house cleaning – caring for the many needs of the family –

and on and on… we look at that list and we wonder

if the lady that’s doing all of these things is

probably a basket case.

A. How to Handle Those Demands – Husbands & Fathers.

So – in the time left, I want to quickly talk about

how moms can handle all of this without

going ballistic and losing their minds.

We already touched on one important part –

and that is the necessity of a loving hubby and obedient kids.

Fellas – to love your wife sacrificially means

that you help out with all those chores –

Nothing is beneath us when it comes to that.

and that’s one way we can help our wives be this virtuous woman –

By helping out around the house!

B. How to Handle Those Demands – Mothers.

Now – this one is on the wives and moms…

and that is – they need to have their priorities straight.

In Luke chapter 10 we read the story of Mary, Martha and Jesus.

Jesus had come to their house – and Mary found the time

to sit at Jesus’ feet – to be near Him and learn from Him –

while Martha got involved in the busy work.

She found plenty of things to do – so that she didn’t have to

get alone and be with Jesus –

now she would’ve never admitted to that –

but that’s what’s implied in that passage.

Then she even complained to the Lord about

Mary’s unwillingness to join her in her sin.

And what we learn from that is that mom’s

need to make Mary’s priority their own priority.

It doesn’t mean that they ignore the other duties of motherhood.

It means that they prioritize and have their priorities straight.

On the flip side – mothers who end up making

Martha’s priorities their own – end up like Martha –

and they find themselves full of

resentment – self-pity – and tension.

VII. The Key to Success.

As Jesus Himself took time to pray and be alone

with His heavenly Father – – Mom’s do you find yourselves

so busy that you don’t take time to sit

at the feet of the Lord and listen to His Word –

and take your burdens and cares to Him?

The Bible makes it pretty clear that

no wife or husband – or mom – or dad can be the kind of spouse

or parent that God has called them to be

without the Lords help.

In fact – Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing!”

Listen closely to the last two verses of Proverbs 31

and then we’ll close:

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

The woman who finds her value in her looks will either be

distracted from her Lord or she will devalue her worth

to the point of self-loathing – because age and gravity

eventually sets in on us all.

But the woman who fears the LORD – she shall be praised!       

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom!

The woman who fears the LORD doesn’t have to toot her own horn –

and she doesn’t have to brag or boast

about what she’s accomplished.

Her OWN works will praise her – People will see it and know it –

Her children will rise up & call her blessed

and her husband will praise her.

VIII. Conclusion.

Two young children on Mother’s Day presented their mom with a houseplant. The older of the children said with a sad face, “There was a bouquet we wanted to give you at the flower shop. It was really pretty, but it was too expensive. It had a ribbon on it that said, ‘Rest in Peace,’ and we thought you would like it since you’re always asking for a little peace so you can rest.” (Contributed by: Preston Duvall)

My Beloved Brothers & Sisters – Let me just encourage all you moms and surrogate moms this morning. God doesn’t call you to be perfect – He calls you to walk in His perfection. It’s not by might – nor by power – but by His Spirit – declares the LORD.

So… take time to set at the feet of Jesus –  – in-other-words –  take the time to get into the Word of God. Read the Bible – study the Bible – learn the Bible – memorize the Bible –  – you do that – and before long – you’ll find that you’re living the Bible.

Compare what God’s Word says with what the world says – and if they differ – reject the worlds point of view.

And lastly – keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus – lay aside every weight of sin that so easily besets us – and look unto the Author and Finisher of your faith.

Let us pray:

Our Father God, our hearts go out in gratitude to Thee for Christin mothers and the unfeigned faith which dwells in so many of them. We bless Thy name for the sacred memories of our mothers and grandmothers who have been called home to Thee, and for the influence of their love which still remains with us. Help us, today and every day, to honor and cherish the true, the precious, and the noble things of life. We thank Thee that our mothers symbolize these things for many of us, realizing that in Jesus alone can we find them perfectly incarnated. As we thank Thee for our mothers, we thank Thee most of all for the gift of Thy Son. In His name – Amen.